This page encompasses issues relating to the whole of the former West Midlands county, particularly West Midlands Police and the West Midlands Safety Camera Partnership. For issues specifically relating to each of the seven local authorities within the West Midlands county, please refer to the links on the right.
ABD Local co-ordinators: see local pages
Road Tolls Thrown Out
West Midlands councils have thrown out the idea of road tolls saying the concept would not work and that the technology was not viable.
Councils Say Road Tolls Pointless
The seven West Midlands councils have admitted that spending four billion pounds on a road tolling scheme won't reduce congestion. The government is trying to force local councils to impose road tolls upon the region, so that public anger is directed at the councils rather than the government.
"We will not accept this. I think we will walk."
A West Mids council leader who refused to be named.
The government has given £2.6 million to the region's local authorities to carry out a 6 month study into the concept, and fund a further phase.
Police Now Ashamed of Traffic Policing
|“The wrong managers”|
“I am a RPU (not Traffic) sergeant in West Midlands. Every day I see appallingly bad driving and poorly maintained vehicles. The consequences of these is deaths on the roads. Last October, for example, we had 4 fatal and 2 very serious injury accidents. This was akin to 4 murder investigations being run simultaneously by one sergeant and 8 constables.
I believe there are three reasons for the state we are in. The first is the low priority given at both national and local level, to all traffic policing matters. I know ACPO now accepts this, but things have gone too far to be fixed in a hurry and a few words in the National Policing Plan. We do not enforce traffic legislation. BCU commanders concentrate resources on national targets set by the Government. There is only one “traffic” key performance indicator: reducing fatal and serious injury accidents.
Secondly, the public has become alienated from the police. The public supported “traffic cops” even if they were wary, because they could see the value of our work. Speed cameras have made the police the enemy of the motorist, even if we have nothing to do with them. They are seen as the police making money.
My third reason is the current standard of police driving. Most Panda drivers have only a one-day test involving 2 hours driving, in place of the old 4 weeks course. Yet the public expects a Panda driver to be a first class driver, and have the best and most powerful cars on the roads.”
Un-named police officer writing in POLICE [pdf 463k]
(The newspaper of the Police Federation) March 2004
The West Midlands Road Accident Review 2001 showed that for pedestrian accidents, excessive speed comprised only 26 of 2364 causation factors, that's 1%.
For non-pedestrian accidents, excessive speed comprised only 330 of 8165 causation factors, that's 4%.
A combined figure gives us 356 of 10529, or 3.3%.
So where do the authorities get this "one third" nonsense from?
Do they just shift the decimal point to suit their purpose?
Elsewhere on the ABD website:
CET = Coventry Evening Telegraph